The live Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course (MBSR) is normally offered in March and in September. The next class will begin on September 16 (for details see September class Details).
The course is modeled on the MBSR program founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. The course is a blend of meditation, body awareness and yoga: learning through practice and discussion how our body handles (and can resolve) stress neurologically. Through participation in this course, participants learn to increase their ability to:
- Cope with stress, pain, and the challenges of everyday life
- Deal with disturbing events with grace and composure
- Be fully present and alive in this moment
There is over 30 years of research which indicates mindfulness training can have a significant therapeutic effect for those experiencing stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, depression, chronic pain, migraines, heart conditions, diabetes and other ailments. In addition, participants typically report feeling more alive, more "in-tune" with themselves and others.
The course consist of nine weekly sessions, each lasting approximately 2 ¾ hours. The first of the nine sessions is free, open to anyone who wishes to learn about mindfulness, and also serves as an orientation for those who choose to continue with the remaining eight weeks. In addition to the classes, there is a day-long silent retreat near the end of the course to help deepen participants' experience.
Mindfulness is best understood through its practice. To get the most benefit from the course, participants are asked to commit themselves to practice mindfulness meditation and/or mindful movement for 30 minutes per day with instructional CDs. In the context of the class, participants learn to work with this commitment with gentleness and patience.
If you are unable to attend the in-person course held in the spring and the fall, another option is the free Online MBSR course on this site, a self-guided program which parallels the live course. Still other options include live fee-based online video programs such as UMass Medical Center's online MBSR course or the Mindful Living online course, or self-paced workbooks, such as Bob Stahl's MBSR Workbook. If you live out of the Moscow/Pullman area, on the UMass Center for Mindfulness website is a directory of other MBSR programs worldwide.
MBSR graduates are invited to monthly gatherings, which include meditation and discussion, as part of the free Graduate Program.
For more about mindfulness, the online course includes a very good Introduction to Mindfulness.